Crazy right? Making $90,000 a year and quitting with no other career goal in mind. The problem is, a career has to be more than just money.
My Career Choice
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a school teacher. I had no idea what I wanted to teach, just that I wanted to join the profession. I think it was a decision I made around the third or fourth grade. Of course, over the years, I had considered other careers, but my heart kept taking me back to teaching.
It was not until I was in high school that I decided I would teach English to high school students. I had an English teacher who was an incredible mentor to me, and I wanted to be like him.
The Career Itself
I started my Education Degree right out of high school, so by the ripe old age of 22, I was a teacher. Getting a job in my field had always been hard. When I did get a permanent contract somewhere, life would happen, and I had to (or wanted to) move.
For years, I did not mind being in and out of work and aiming to get to the place I wanted to be. I also completed a Master’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Leadership while I was searching for that perfect job.
I Thought I Had “The One”
The position I had waited so long for finally came my way when I was 40. It was at a Catholic school teaching grade five. It was certainly not where I expected to be, but I loved it. It was a temporary position, but I hoped it would become permanent. At the end of the year, the principal told me that an advertisement for the job was coming out, and I could apply if I wanted to. However, she also told me she wanted her friend to work there, so the chances of being a successful applicant were slim to none. I was devastated. I had worked so hard to become a part of the community at that school, and none of it mattered.
The Next Year
All was okay when I applied for a position teaching senior English, and I got the job. That is what I had really trained to do, and NOW I was where I was supposed to be. That, too, was a great disappointment. I found the leadership under which I was working was feeble. Teaching was no longer what it was 20 years ago, and there was no way to do what I felt needed to do in my classroom. I quickly became miserable and disenfranchised and developed situational anxiety. I had to take leave from work, and when I had to go back, I got physically ill when I had to walk into the building.
Between the poor leadership and the changes in education, I decided it was time to get out.
Fast Forward to Now
Unfortunately, when I decided to leave teaching, I did not have a back-up plan. I am an independent, educated woman. I am also an empath and wanted to put my mental health and my family first.
I am still trying to decide what I want to do, and it is becoming imperative to decide soon as I need to pay my bills. I don’t think I will find something I want to do that will pay what I was making, but I am okay with that. There are things I want in life, but what I want most is to be happy and love my life.
To me, the bottom line comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To Thine own self be true.”
Do not stay in a job that you hate. Money has never bought happiness. That being said, make a plan. If you are not happy with your career choice, you are strong enough to make a change. Having a plan in place will help you to see your end goal and how to get there. I quit my job with no plan, and that was not the best idea. If you can decide what you want to do and outline the steps you need to take to get there, you will have confidence in knowing that though the beginning may be tough, you are forging ahead into your best life.